Workers from Wincanton B&Q warehouse in Worksop have voted for an all-out strike to win a 6 percent pay rise.
More than 150 of them met last Saturday to decide the next steps in their campaign, which has involved a week of strikes followed by a week of work to rule.
They voted unanimously, by a show of hands, to escalate to continuous action. The strike was set to begin on Monday 27 December, as Tory anti‑union laws demand workers give bosses two weeks’ notice before a strike.
Unite rep Patrick McGrath explained that actually going back to work after the overtime ban had been double edged.
It was good because union members knew each other better after the strike and had felt their strength.
But it was demoralising seeing lorries moving again after they had brought the site to a standstill.
Also, management were intimidating individuals and trying to interfere with the right of union reps to talk to members.
Patrick added, “Only strong action is going to force management to negotiate and increase the current offer of 4 percent.
“We believe our demands are winnable. We know it is hard at present to attract workers to do our jobs. Management complain that the costs of commodities are rising, but so are their profits and the dividends they pay out.”
A number of the pickets complained that they had worked hard through the crisis as “essential” workers, while B&Q maximised its profits by being allowed to open.
“Other stores, such as B&M and Home Bargains, have given staff Covid bonuses. We’ve had nothing,” said one.
Unite has produced flyers and posters so people can leaflet outside B&Q stores. To get copies contact [email protected]
Agency workers would be paid more
A racist Tory bill
Many people are already missing bill payments